The glam metal band of the century
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Rock&Roll all night – KISS

  • Joined Jan 2020
  • Published Books 1

Today “KISS” is a popular band worth around $300 million. But this was not the case when they started out in New York back in 1973. It was founded by the 4 original members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley.



That was KISS’ first song “Nothin’ to Lose” written in late 1973 by Criss. He wrote about his experience of trying to persuade his girlfriend to try anal sex, and how she enjoyed it afterwards.


It all began late in 1972 when Stanley and Simmons decide to abandoned thier old band- Wicked Lester- and form a new band with a heavier sound.
After recruiting Criss as thier lead singer, they began experimenting with their image, by wearing makeup and various outfits.

In early January 1973, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley and the classic lineup was solidified as the band Kiss.




“Strutter” was written before Frehley joined Kiss. Stanley wrote the lyrics, and the music was based on a song Simmons had written years before, “Stanley the Parrot”,which he had recorded with Wicked Lester. It was released in August 1974 as the third and final single from the album.




The first performance was on January 1973, for an audience of three in Queens, NY. Though for the first gigs the band wore little to no makeup; the iconic makeup designs associated with Kiss made their debut during the March shows at The Daisy club in Amityville, New York.

On November 1, 1973, Kiss became the first act signed to former teen pop singer Neil Bogart’s new label, Casablanca Records.


The band entered Bell Sound Studios in New York City on October 1973, to begin recording their first, self-titled, album which was released on February 8th, a few days after the start of their first tour.


That was “Cold Gin”, it became a staple in the bands performances.


Its about the effect that cold gin supposedly has on the male sex drive. The song credits cold gin as the only thing that keeps the couple together in a troubled relationship.


Despite the publicity and constant touring, Kiss initially sold just 75,000 copies.


The band (while touring) stopped in Los Angeles in August 1974 to begin recording their second album, Hotter Than Hell, which was released on October 22, 1974. The only single, “Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll”, failed to chart, and the album stalled at No. 100.



With Hotter Than Hell quickly dropping off the charts, Kiss was pulled from their tour to quickly record a new album.

The band switched the odd dark sound for a more accessible popy sound in their next album “Dressed to Kill” released on March 19, 1975. It fared slightly better commercially than the previous album.



It also contained what became the bands most popular song “Rock and Roll all Nite”


Kiss albums werent big sellers. Despite this the band was gaining a reputation for their eccentric live performances. Kiss concerts featured for expample Simmons spitting “blood” and “breathing fire”, Frehley soloing as his guitar burst into flames , Criss’s elevating drum riser that emitted sparks, Stanley’s Townshend-style guitar smashing, and pyrotechnics throughout the show. It attracted alot of attention.


By mid-1975, Casablanca was almost bankrupt, and Kiss was in danger of losing their record contract. Both parties desperately needed a commercial breakthrough to survive. That breakthrough came in an unlikely form: a “double live” album.



Alive!” released on September 10, 1975, achieved Gold status and spawned Kiss’ first top 40 single: a live version of “Rock and Roll All Nite”.


The success of “Alive!” brought Kiss the breakthrough they had been seeking, and saved Casablanca, which was close to bankruptcy.


From that point on “KISS” has become one of the most famous glam metal bands in the world and continues to perform to this day!



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